Before NHA can make payments on behalf of a tenant family, the unit must meet HUD's minimum Housing Quality Standards (HQS). These standards have been implemented by HUD nationwide to ensure that all assisted units meet minimum health and safety standards. NHA will inspect the unit for HQS initially and at least every two years.
In order to ensure that the unit meets HQS, review the requirements and correct any HQS violations before the inspection. At the time of the inspection, the unit should be ready to move in. This will prevent delays in the housing assistance payments.
If the unit fails the initial inspection or annual inspection, an inspection report with the failed items indicated will be mailed. First housing assistance payments cannot be made until the unit passes an inspection. Repairs for the annual inspection must be made within 30 days or 24 hours for life threatening emergencies. For annual inspections, if repairs are not made by the stated deadline, housing assistance payments will stop.
Most Common HQS Failed Items
- Non functional smoke detectors
- Missing or cracked electrical outlet cover plates
- Railings not present where required
- Peeling exterior and interior paint. Lead Paint
- Trip hazards caused by improperly installed floor coverings (carpets/vinyl)
- Cracked or broken window panes
- Inoperable burner on stoves
- or inoperable range hoods
- Missing burner control knobs
- The bathroom must be located in a separate room and have a flush toilet.
- The unit must have a fixed basin with a sink trap and hot and cold running water.
- The unit must have a shower or bathtub with hot and cold running water.
- The toilet facilities must utilize an approvable public or private disposal system, which may include a locally approvable septic system.
- The unit must have a cooking stove or range and refrigerator of appropriate size for the unit (i.e., family) all in proper operating condition. Stoves, ovens, and ranges must have all control knobs and handles. Gas stove burners must light by pilot jets without the use of incendiary devices (i.e., matches, lighter, etc.).
- The unit must have a kitchen sink in proper operating condition with a sink trap and hot and cold running water which drains into an approvable public or private wastewater system.
- The unit must provide space for the storage, preparation, and serving of food.
- There must be facilities and services for the sanitary disposal of food waste and refuse, including temporary storage facilities where necessary (i.e., garbage containers).
- The unit must have a minimum of a living room, kitchen area, and bathroom.
- The unit must contain at least one sleeping or living/sleeping room for every two (2) people.
- The unit's windows which are accessible from the outside, such as basement, first-floor, and fire escape windows, must be lockable (e.g., window units with sash pins or sash locks, and combination windows with latches). Vertically opening windows must stay up and open without the use of props. Windows designed to open, should be operable.
- Bedroom windows must be able to open and close freely.
- The unit's exterior doors (i.e., those that allow access to or from the unit) must be lockable, and compliant with current Texas Property Code requirements regarding security devices for residential tenancies.